At least three lemonade stands run by children were shut down by police in Coralville as RAGBRAI rolled through town over the weekend. City officials say the stands were in violation of an ordinance which required all vendors to have permits while the bicycle riders were in town.
Dustin Krutsinger says police shut down his 4-year-old daughter’s stand after just 30 minutes. “An officer came by and he was very nice and apologetic. He said ‘I really don’t want to do this, but we’ve been told to shut down any lemonade stands,'” Krutsinger said.
Krutsinger’s daughter, Abigail, made $4 selling lemonade for 25 cents a cup. A permit would’ve cost her $400. Krutsinger said he understands why the ordinance is needed, but he thinks officials took it too far. “If the line is drawn to the point where a four-year-old, eight blocks away, can’t sell a couple glasses of lemonade for 25 cents, than I think the line has been drawn at the wrong spot,” Krutsinger said.
Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said the city was trying to regulate hundreds of vendors in order to stay up to code with the county health department. “I think that’s the biggest question – who do you enforce it against and who do you not? I think that’s the biggest problem,” Hayworth said.
Mitch Gross, a member of the Coralville City Council, said he expects future ordinances to apply only to vendors who set out to “make a profit.”
By Mark Carlson, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids